on 7 June 2010
Over the past year we have seen the pop music scene rejuvenated by the likes of Lady Gaga and The Black Eyed Peas releasing a plethora of singles from their recent albums and therefore shipping millions worldwide for the sake of commerciality and popularity of the rise of electronic music. Prior to this we had the wonderful Britney Spears return with Blackout in 2007 after her muchly publicised meltdown with what was to become an underrated electronic pop gem with retro grooves and sexual/sensually insecure lyrics and uptempo sounds, it only shipped 3 million and has since become something of a cult status amongst fans, we've also seen many female pop artists rise from this side of the pond, with the sensational Florence & The Machine's Lungs album, La Roux's and Little Boots' very 80's inspired synth records and VV Brown's ode to the 60's period, finally we had the return of Barbadian superstar Rihanna with her daring and artistic Rated R album to round off a year of vibrant pop tunes.
But what is the most anticipated return of 2010 must be that of the magnificent Christina Aguilera, it's taken 4 years since her Back To Basics double disc album hit the stores and my oh my has the wait been worth it...and then some!
with a production list that includes long time collaborator Linda Perry,Focus,Tricky Stewart as well as Sia,MIA,Santigold,Polow De Don,Le Tigre,John Hill,Switch,Samuel Dixon and Ladytron! could this be the coolest pop album made in years? in a word...YES!
this new era just screams in artistic production and three dimensional creativity, it's structured as something rather blockbuster in style and has to be her strongest body of work to date, let alone her most personal since Stripped in 2002. after all she has got married, had a baby boy and starred in a film(the upcoming Burlesque)since her last record, Bionic is nothing short of an intimate and explorative affair, and trust me when i say it's a rather rewarding experience to hear.
Taking an influence by Queen Of Pop Madonna here by combining the ambitious takes on music and writing lyrics that engage the listener to participate is the most obvious here, also with Bionic's photography it has a very Blonde Ambition/Erotica period feel about it but Christina provides a very 60's Science Fiction and Pop Art feel about it which is rather beautiful and glorious to look at which reflects Christina's vulnerability and also her strength as a person with some rather defiant and strong poses and rather intimate postures.
The sound of the album has a broad range of pop,electronica,trip hop, R&B,Dancehall and some acoustic ballads for good measure, they're quite possibly the greatest pop songs to be contained within an album and each surprisingly flow wonderously into the next almost naturally, Aguilera's vocals here are much more darker in their tone and much crisper to hear which is nice and not to worry, her belts are still here in fantastic top form proving more so that she is the Voice Of A Generation and the strongest vocalist of the past decade,she is an absolute gem.
now for the albums tracklist-
Bionic-a very thumpy introduction with some cutting synths and very edgy vocals, almost robotic in some areas which is interesting to hear. It is a strong song and very anthemic of sorts and certainly will get your hands up in the air and feet onto the dancefloor, and once and for all states that XTINA is back! it pulls you in and never lets go of it's grasp. it's a pop take over and a wonderous listen. 10/10
Not Myself Tonight-her lead single for the album which charted to a very mixed response but nevermind it, although this song may be the weaker link on the album it is very clubby and by itself is a bit of a charm and fits quite nicely on the record, and the video which accompanied the song is very Madonna inspired with Express Yourself,Like A Prayer,Erotica and Human Nature each getting a tribute in the video, sure it's not her best but it certainly brings out the song. 8/10
Woohoo(feturing Nicki Minaj)-by far my Summer anthem! this song is genius to many degrees, it's got some very sharp and clever innuendo but it's not explicit nor is it over the top to sell sex for success. it's catchy and very pulsating Dancehall inspired song and the best collaboration since Madonna and Justin's 4 Minutes. it's a very punchy record and will get you up and dancing. an R&B masterpiece and should be a future single.10/10
Elastic Love-produced by MIA, this song is a very basic lyric song but nevertheless very hard hitting an has very sharply crisp electronic production and in some ways rather sensual, it does have a very experimental vibe and is quite indie in some cases. it's a strong uptempo song with some more rap styles explored which is interesting for Aguilera and some very Madonna Mezzo-Soprano style vocals here too as well as a very distinctive MIA style. You'll be singing along in no time! 10/10
Desnudate-this is what i call a BIG melody and a very sensually produced electronic Spanish-style paying tribute to her heritage and her previous Mi Reflejo album from 2001, it's very seductive and thumpy and a wonderful production by Tricky Stewart with some big horns and tribal beats and some Spanish guitar strings in there too.It's very busy but nevertheless makes you want to get your groove on the dancefloor.10/10
Love & Glamour(Intro)Glam-a big Vogue inspired melody, and was for a while debated as to whether release this or Bionic as the lead single (why neither were chosen beats me!)this is very empowering and would have been a massive success worldwide and deserves to be released as a single from the album, it's very nicely paced and very breathy vocals. it's a grand recording and very retro to hear i can imagine this song doing wonders, it's fantastic and even contains a Daft Punk sample!10/10
Prima Donna(feat.Lil' Jon)-this is Aguilera's answer to MJ's Bad, it has a definite gravity to her vocals and a very thumpy bassline, it is almost a sequel to Dirrty and just as raw and urban, again a very empowering and punchy"pow,pow,pow!" as a whole the three Tricky Stewart productions here could be his greatest work yet actually in comparison to his work with Rihanna and Beyonce, what he has done with Christina is top class and by far very,very different and for that it gets top marks.10/10
Morning Dessert(intro)Sex For Breakfast-we are now given a change of pace with this wonderful Focus production, driven by a deep R&B groove and some piano melodies in the background, it's very sensual without being explicit and hs a very appealing gravity behind it. Aguilera's answer to Justify My Love?...most possibly. it's quite daring but the sex appeal is definitely reflected here in a true Donna Summer I Feel Love direction. it's a 5 minute bliss.10/10
Lift Me Up-Linda Perry's contribution to the record just may be her strongest recording with Aguilera alongside Beautiful and Hurt (and Candyman as a personal favourite!) and would make a wonderful release from the album. it has a very heavy 80's guitar glam rock vibe and it's beyond mesmerising on so many different levels and will have you with a lighter in you hand in the air swaying for sure (or just you hand will do!) it's very deep and nothing short of brilliant.10/10
My Heart(intro)All I Need-we are given the first of Sia's collaborations with Aguilera here, and it is a very different affair to previous ballads by Aguilera, it shows the more vulnerable side to Aguilera and it's absolutely wonderful to listen to.10/10
I Am-this is a fabulous recording for the album, it really moves you along and brings you directly into the melody of the song, it's really deep and must be released from the album that is all i am saying. it's vulnerable,sweet and also very personal to hear, almost like a film's soundtrack to a blockbuster! it's sheer epic beauty on so many levels. i can imagine a fabulous video to accompany it.10/10
You Lost Me- again,an absolutely incredible song and yet another ballad completely raw and different to anything else out there. it's punchier and was performed absolutely amazingly by Aguilera on the American Idol final which added to the song's power. another song you will have the words after a few listens. absolutely mesmerising! 10/10
I Hate Boys-we are them catapulted into a different direction entirely and while this may be the weaker Polow De Don production and weakest song of the album it still has a power and short but sweet feel about it so despite this it is an enjoyable stomper of a tune.7/10
My Girls(feat. Peaches)-this Le Tigre production is a very,very 80's style about it and also very synthy too and despite taking a couple of listens to get the vibe of the song it is rather fun,hip and wonderful.9/10
Vanity-continuing with the punky 80's vibe of the last two songs Vanity provides something very explicit and also very funny. you cannot help but feel the electricity pumping throughout the tune and actually sounds rather retro too. it's nonsensical fun and rather brilliant.10/10
as you can see there is a varied production for the Bionic record but is by far her strongest body of material yet and is her masterpiece,Beyonce wouldn't dare go to the lengths of this to make a quality record,Mariah Carey wouldn't be as experimental,and Gaga wouldn't puh the boundaries nor have the ambition to create something quite as blockbuster as BIONIC. The princess of pop is back and at the top of her game and this is by far THE album of 2010!
and album not only that must be heard,but everyone MUST own pop gold.